A coalition of civil society organisations has called for action from lawmakers on the proposed amendment of the Electoral Act.
Specifically, the coalition recommended that the general elections be conducted in one day by amending Section 25 of the Electoral Act 2010.
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It said that would reduce the prevalence of violence in the elections and reduce the cost of conducting it.
The coalition, which made its submissions known in a nine-point memorandum to the National Assembly, included YIAGA Africa, Centre for Liberty, NESSACTION, Raising New Voices and Millennials Active Citizenship Advocacy Africa.
According to the coalition, conducting elections for several days caused economic stagnation.
“Research has shown that crucial economic activities are delayed and affected due to the long duration of the conduct of elections. Our foreign direct and portfolio investments witness severe decline in the buildup and during the elections,” it said.
It also called for the strengthening of the INEC and demanded that the mode of appointment of the chairman should be reconsidered in line with the recommendations of the Justice Mohammed Uwais Panel.
This, the coalition observed, would deepen the independence of the commission.
It further recommended that INEC’s budget should be prepared separately in a manner to ensure access and disbursement of funding required to prepare for elections at least a year before the election dates.
On the unbundling of INEC, the coalition said: “The commission is saddled with numerous responsibilities and we recommend that the various parts of INEC should be able to discharge their responsibilities without the need for the direct input or supervision of the INEC chairman.”
It suggested that INEC should consider engaging professionals in the logistics and dispatch industry to ensure the delivery of electoral materials. “It may, however, perform oversight functions to confirm delivery of said materials timeously and in good condition.”
Other recommendations of the coalition include electronic transmission of vote results to curtail incidences of the rigging of election results; full biometric for accreditation and electronic transmission of results and reform of the campaign finance scheme, among others.